To say American Packaging has had an influence on the Rochester economy would be an understatement. With its 100-year history, and more than 150 employees in the Rochester area alone, the American Packaging name has long been synonymous with quality, flexible packaging in a wide range of industries. In January of 2008, when the American Packaging board approved an $11.5 million equipment and building expansion to their Rochester facility, it was no surprise that they turned to the Mitchell Group. Five years earlier, the Mitchell Group had completed a hazardous liquid storage facility for American Packaging at the same facility, and they knew that the Mitchell Group’s integrated approach to design/build made them the ideal candidate for the challenging expansion project ahead.
The Mitchell group faced more than their fair share of unique problems with this expansion, which was meant to house a custom-produced, multi-million dollar extruding and laminating line. Measuring 150’ long, 30’ wide, and two stories tall, the machinery was scheduled to be delivered in December of 2008 in 32 over-seas shipping containers. This meant that most of the expansion had to be completed before December, so that there would be a safe, weather protected place to store the container contents upon arrival. In order to meet this deadline, the Mitchell Group had to begin construction immediately, even before the design was finalized – a testament to the benefits and efficiency of having the same company handle both the design and construction. The Mitchell Group was able to complete a year’s worth of work in six months, which translated into huge savings for American Packaging.
This expansion didn’t only include new construction, however. There was a need to redo a large portion of the existing building and roof. The Mitchell Group designed and executed an innovative method of supporting a large section of the existing roof, while they gutted and reconstructed the framework beneath. This was followed by a complete re-roofing of approximately 13,000 square feet.
The obstacles faced weren’t only large in scale; there were plenty of precise details that had be addressed as well. The base of the new extrusion and laminating line had to be built onto a system of beams for stability, each of which had to be placed within a 1/100 of an inch tolerance over 150’. It’s safe to say the Mitchell Group had their hands full!
An expansion of this magnitude, with such incredibly demanding requirements, would have proved too daunting a task for many individual architecture or construction firms. The Mitchell Group, with their years of integrated design/build experience, was able to successfully anticipate, analyze and overcome the challenges with a minimum of downtime and a maximum of resource efficiency.
“We found unexpected issues within the soil that required [even more] changes in engineering to be done on the fly,” said Dave Geier, American Packaging Corporation Operations Manager. "Because of these changes in engineering scope due to the soil, our cost went up, so we had to redo the overall design of the building to reduce costs in other areas. [The Mitchell Group was] able to come up with a number of different alternatives and options that we could pick from, while also improving the building. Based on the responses from our customers, I think the work that they did has helped change the way customers perceive our business. It is truly a professional building and it looks fantastic.”
The Mitchell Group (mitchelldesignbuild.com) has been a regional leader in the design and construction of commercial, retail and office structures since the 1980’s. Their clients reflect a variety of sizes and sectors; a testimony to the Mitchell Group’s ingenuity, innovation and dedication to every project. They credit their overwhelming success to their holistic approach to architecture and construction, allowing resources to go into the product, rather than the process.